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Turkey says will revise ties with Israel if receives no apologies over Freedom Flotilla assault

RIA Novosti

14:04 17/06/2010

ANKARA, June 17 (RIA Novosti) - Turkey will revise its relations with Israel if the Jewish state does not bring official apologies in a month for the attack on a humanitarian aid convoy, local media said on Thursday.

The relations between Turkey and Israel hit the lowest point after the May 31 assault by Israeli commandos on the six-ship Freedom Flotilla in international waters off the coast of the Hamas-run Gaza Strip.

The flotilla carried some 10,000 tons of aid and up to 700 human rights activists to the Palestinian enclave. Nine activists, eight of them Turkish nationals, were killed and dozens were injured. Hundreds were jailed and then deported.

The Milliyet daily said Ankara wanted Israel to apologize for the deadly raid, pay compensation to the victims, agree to an international investigation, return the seized ships and deliver the cargo to Gaza.

Otherwise, Turkey will freeze the diplomatic relations with Israel, bar Israeli firms from Turkish tenders and review the bilateral military cooperation, Turkey's NTV television said.

"At the same time Turkey has no intention to bar Israeli citizens from entering the country and close its sea ports for trade ships from Israel. Therefore, it signals that the sanctions will not be aimed against the Israeli people," NTV said.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry is yet to comment on possible sanctions against Israel.

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